Friday, August 31, 2007

Marshmellow Warrior

Bonfire on the beach at Huntington Beach State Park -- what a great night with great friends. Thanks to the Toes on the Nose guys we didn't have to "camp" our fire pit all day like most people. We arrived in the evening, they built the fire, stoked it all night, set out the lawn chairs, provided s'mores fixin's. All quite civilized actually. Don't you love LA, all it takes is money, baby.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Back to the Lottery

Well, another post lottery day let down......No one won either the Mega Millions ( $ 300 million) or the Super Lotto ( ~ 86 million) I suppose that's good since I certainly didn't have the #'s. If I can't win then no one should, hehe

Let's dream for a moment here. Let's start small...... If the California lottery gave me $1,000,000 what would I do? Well, the feds would take $420,000 so I'd be left with $ 580,000. I certainly wouldn't quit my job. That's not enough cash to quit. I think I would take $80,000 of it and pay off a few loans and take the $ 500,000 and buy a condo on Kauai, probably in Princeville. Or maybe, a house in Hanalei Bay. Regardless, 500k is only a down payment on either. Hopefully, and I would have to do the math, this would bring the mortgage down to such a level that renting it out would pay for homeowner's dues, taxes, the remaining mortgage and make me a little cash every month. I'm talking about renting it out to tourists, not to locals. More money in vacation rentals in Hawaii than on local rentals.

That brings up a good point. If I bought a 4 or 6 unit apartment building on Kauai or even the mainland perhaps, then that could be good income. hmmmmm.......but then if I bought a condo in Princeville for vacation rentals then we could use it to vacation.........hmmmmm, but then friends and family would want to use if for free. That would be inconvenient. If you're giving it away all the time then you're not making any money. AAACCCCKKKK!!!! Obviously, I have to win more money than 1 million dollars! Isn't it amazing, with money comes problems. I have lots of problems with this $ 1 million and I haven't even won it yet. Dena would say that's my pessimistic self shining through, but frankly, I'm just a realist.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Praying to the Lottery Gods

Ah Lotto fever has certainly hit California. The MegaLotto (which is a multi-state lotto of which California is part of) is at 250 million (draw tonight, Tuesday) and the Super Lotto (the original, California only) is up around 86 million and that draw is Wednesday night. The estimated pot for just 5 out of 5 numbers minus the mega number for the Mega Lotto is around 1.2 million. That means you didn't win the big one, but you got 5 out of 6 #'s. I'm not greedy. I could go for 1.2 million.

But what if I won? How does all that lottery stuff work? Cash value, 26 annual payments, etc? Well, basically, if you choose 26 annual payments of your 26,000,000 (let's use that as an easy example) then the State of California graciously sets you up an annuity guaranteeing an interest rate of ~ 6.68 %. All lotteries are annuities. The total jackpot you see advertised is bogus. That money is not available. In a typical state lottery, the cash value is roughly half the face value. Modern lotteries, you see, involve a bit of financial sleight of hand. You've "won" $X million only in the sense that you'll receive that much if you're willing to wait 20 (or 26 in some states) years to collect it. What you've actually won is the cash value plus the interest that accumulates. So what should you take, the cash value or the annual payments? Well, can you and your trusted financial adviser make better than 6.68% on that money if you took it all at once? Then you'd be better ahead taking the cash value.

Regardless, the IRS will take its share as well. You will be taxed based on the tax bracket you're in. Well, you've just won $26,000,000 so regardless of whether you collect now or over 26 years, you'll probably still be in the highest bracket (42%) unless you're a tax magician.

So this blog started out as going to be what I would do with the money, but perhaps I'll dwell on that tomorrow. I got down a rat hole counting my cash.........and how California and the feds were going to screw me out of a bunch of it.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


  1. When you're short, buying capri pants is not really an option. They just look like you bought regular pants that are floods.
  2. It doesn't matter how much lotion, face creme, etc nor how much many you spend on said cremes, you still get wrinkles. Getting old sucks.
  3. Aleve is a wonderful is definitely helping with my shoulder pain.
  4. There is a family of vegetables called "nightshade" and they include tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and potatoes(minus yams) -- the superstition is that they all contain a toxin that is poisonous to humans. Nightshade vegetables are the single most common staple in the middle eastern diet. Hmmmm......perhaps this explains why they are all insane.
  5. Since when did mom's start buying their kids lunches at 7-11? I see this more and more. What good can come of that? So they get a lunchables, a gatorade and a candy bar for lunch. Wow, that's healthy. No wonder American children are suffering such a high rate of obesity.
  6. Men are dogs. At the gym I see men leering at women half their age. Not even trying to hide it, just leering openly. I mean, get real. Do you think she'd even remotely give you the time of day?
  7. 90% of people at the gym have some sort of MP3 player, and of that 90% -- 75% of those are Apple Ipods........YAY! My stock appreciates your patronage.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Kittens Invade Greek Restaurant

Aren't they adorable. A mommy kitty had 5 kittens outside the Greek restaurant that we went to Saturday night in Edmonton. I just had a thought, I hope they are not out there in the winter! Anyways, they were absolutely adorable, I couldn't help, despite allergies, petting and holding them. Momma kat was very, very skinny as it probably takes a tremendous amount of energy to feed all these brats. Someone had put cat food out for them but momma was very watchful and probably has little time to eat.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Segway Test Drive

While in the West Edmonton Mall I test drove a segway. I was able to have lessons and ride around on both models, both the first generation and the newest model. While all models are body intuitive the new model is even more so with turning done with a slight lean and a small movement of the handle. There are now many different models of Segways - a golf model, an off roading model, a police model, etc. Check out their website
I had an absolute blast in my test drive and was able to get the personal transporter up to significant speed fairly quickly. As you can see in the picture there was a rocky area, turns, ramps, etc. It was a lot of fun!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Shoulder Saga Continues

I went to a new orthopedic surgeon today. The one that stuck the needle in my shoulder while I was on the x-ray table has been rumored to be unethical, etc. I got that info from a variety of sources so I elected to change doctors.

I am happy to report that this doctor -- Dr. Robert Wilson (such a benign name, eh) is a very nice, attentive surgeon whose first inclination is not to cut you open. What a novel concept. He said that 80% of people with my injury (severe rotator cuff impingement due to AC hypertrophy i.e. inflamed) recover with specific exercise and avoidance. So I have some very specific exercises I must do and I think the key is to avoid specific motions. Like golf :-( Actually, any movement > 80% high for my arm is not allowed. So, anything over shoulder height I cannot do. 80 is apparently the magic number. The second injury, the partial tear of the labral whatever it is, is "partial" therefore in time, with exercise and care, it should naturally heal. Now I personally noticed that the tear seemed partial when reading my own MRI but no one else mentioned it until this guy. See, those internet MRI reading lessons have come in handy.........

This news and doctor's visit certainly buoyed my spirits especially since I've found out that arthroscopic shoulder surgery means a sling for 6 weeks, then physical therapy. I'm not really thrilled with that......